Soy Food– Safe Superfood or Toxic Waste?
Soy food is definitely one of the most controversial foods in the world. Depending on who you ask, it is either a wonderful superfood or a hormone disrupting poison.
Because it’s cheap and has certain functional properties, soybean oil and soy protein have found their way into all sorts of processed foods. Most people in the U.S. are consuming significant amounts of soy food without even knowing about it and therein is part of the problem. As we have discussed in previous posts, much of the food supply in America has been compromised by chemical companies with little or no oversight and or proper research as to the long term health implications for humans.
Is Soy Food Nutritious?
The nutrient composition of soy depends dramatically on the type of soy food. Whole soybeans can be nutritious in small quantities, but refined soy-derived products, like soy protein and soybean oil, aren’t nutritious at all. Interestingly, whole soybeans are rarely consumed in Western countries. The majority of soy in the diet comes from the refined products that are processed from the soybeans.
Let’s start at the beginning. In its raw form Soy is a toxin. The soy bean must be boiled to reduce its toxicity. That process leaves behind some chemicals that are inherently dangerous.
(Almost all) Soy is GMO
Over 90% of soy produced in the U.S. is genetically modified to withstand the Monsanto herbicide Roundup. So Soy crops are sprayed with the Roundup, which may be associated with adverse effects on health. We have also seen previously there are 38 countries world wide that ban GMO’s outright yet not only are GMO’s permitted in the US, labeling is now controversial with a government move to ban proper labeling. The bottom line is you, the consumer, do not know what is in the food you are eating.
Most of the soy food crop in the U.S. is used to produce soybean oil, which is extracted using the chemical solvent hexane. In a previous discussion of Canola oil we have seen the concerns about hexane use. What remains of the soybean after the fat has been extracted is called soybean meal, which is about 50% protein.
The majority of soybean meal is used to feed livestock, but it can also go through further processing to produce isolated soy protein.
Soy contains large amounts of biologically active compounds called isoflavones, which function as phytoestrogens… that is, plant-based compounds that can activate estrogen receptors in the human body. These isoflavones are classified as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the normal function of hormones in the body.
This can cause reduced estrogen activity due to the isoflavones blocking the actual, more potent estrogen from binding, or it can lead to an increased estrogen activity due to the isoflavones activating the receptors.
Soy and Your Thyroid
The isoflavones in soy also interfere with thyroid function. One study in 37 Japanese adults revealed that 30 grams (about 1 oz) of soybeans for 3 months raised levels of Thyroid Stimulating hormone (TSH), a marker of impaired thyroid function.
Many subjects experienced symptoms of hypothyroidism, including malaise, constipation, sleepiness and thyroid enlargement. These symptoms went away after they stopped consuming the soybeans
The FDA and Soy Food
The FDA refused to approve isolated soy protein as a safe food additive with the designation “Generally Recognized as Safe.” This was considered by many to be a wise move by the FDA. Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland withdrew its application for the coveted GRAS status for soy protein, after an outcry from scientists about the toxins and carcinogens that come with it.
However, they can still put soy protein in your food, but they have to get pre-market approval for every product.
Isolated Soy Protein Is No Health Food!
It is the main ingredient in soy burgers, ice cream, milk shakes, and fake cheese. These soy protein products are phony foods — but they must look like the real foods they imitate.
So the soy industry transforms a small yellow soy bean into something resembling a hamburger. They make soy “milk” and “ice cream” white and creamy.
The other ingredients in these foods are no better for you than the soy protein that goes into them.
Soy milk, for example, is simply a cocktail of soy protein, sugar, and vegetable oil.
The “natural” MSG formed in soy processing is already bad for you, but even more MSG, and more flavorings, are added.
Imitation foods need a lot of help to be tasty. Many savory soy foods are loaded with additives to give them the flavor of the real foods they mimic.
Most imitation meat, for example, contains man-made MSG, which causes migraines and is associated with brain cancer.
Don’t the Asians Eat Soy
The Asians eat mostly fermented soy in small quantities (tempeh, natto, miso, and soy sauce). A typical Asian diet might contain for example 1 to 2 teaspoons per day of fermented soy as a condiment. The fermentation removes the otherwise harmful isoflavones and makes the fermented soy product more human friendly.
The Asians do not consume glasses of artificially produced milk loaded with sweeteners and other flavor enhancers to dupe you into believing you are eating something healthy.
Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula.
Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least four birth control pills per day.
Soy foods aren’t real food. They aren’t traditional. They aren’t old.
They’re industrial waste products dressed up in pretty clothes and marketed to an ignorant public.
Toxins And Our Environment
Since 1985, over 20,000 new chemicals have been introduced and are soaking our environment, our children and you. And yes! the FDA and EPA allow it. These industries are, to a great extent, unregulated. To learn more about toxins in your home and body and your children, check out The Toxic Truth. The magnitude of the problem will astound you.
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